Now that we are a few weeks after the NHL trade deadline. It is time to take a look at the trade winners and losers. From teams looking to build up their draft picks for a better future, to teams looking to dump some cap space. The trade deadline marks the end of a generally exciting couple of weeks. This year was no exception as the League’s bottom feeders sold and Stanley Cup hopefuls bought. But, who won? Maybe more importantly, who lost this years trade.
One of the bigger names to move before the deadline was Marc-Andre Fleury, the 3 time Cup winner who allowed a trade from Chicago to Minnesota. Overall this season the WIld have looked rather strong and have had showings of a possible Cup run. They were missing some veteran presence who has been there before and found that in Fleury. Not only that, they quickly moved their back up netminder Kaapo Kahkonen to San Jose for some grit and toughness on their defense. Even though the acquisition is clearly short term as Fleury nears retirement, the Wild went with a win now mentality and look like they very well could. If they can clear the monkey off the back of their historic first or second round exits.
After years of being a Flyer, Claude Giroux waived his no-trade clause to head south and join the Florida Panthers on their Cup run. This was big news as for a while it’d been rumored he had been considering going to Colorado, but they clearly weren’t able to move the money around for him. Florida capitalized on the selling teams this year. Giroux will join his former teammate Robert Hagg who was with the Flyers until the summer of last year. Joining him on the defense is Ben Chiarot from Montreal, another big named trade the Panthers pulled off. Without a doubt, the Panthers went from hopefuls to serious contenders in just 3 trades.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Current defending champions, and possibly the first team in over 40 years to 3 peat for the Cup, the Lightning made a few moves to strengthen their depth despite minimal cap space. Young winger Brandon Hagel joins them from Chicago. Nick Paul another forward comes to them from Ottawa. Also, the team picked back up Riley Nash who has had a confusing few months with the transactions he’s been a part of.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Their inability to find a solid backup to stand behind Campbell will very likely bite them if they hope to make a run. With Petr Mrazek having a tough time getting off of the IR you’re left with Erik Kallgren. Kallgren is a fresh rookie who is yet to get really tested at the League level. His stats are moderate for his first 7 games, but will he be what they need if Campbell can’t play? They had tried to pick up Harri Sateri but the Arizona Coyotes stole him from them off of waivers. Now, Toronto is left with Campbell and the hope they can make a deep run with him.
Vegas Golden Knights
After making little to no noise, the Knights announced a trade in the final minutes before the deadline. They had sent forward Evgenii Dadonov and a second-round pick to the Anaheim Ducks for Ryan Kesler’s contract and defensemen John Moore. However, after the final announcement, Dadonov’s 10 team no-trade clause came out. One of those teams was the Ducks. After deliberation, the NHL and NHLPA reversed the trade and sent him back to Vegas. The team really needed to dump some cap and the Duck’s needed some veteran play so both teams lose out on a trade that made sense. All because, the Knights were unaware of his 10 teams listed on his no trade clause. For that reason, I think they are a pretty big loser as they now are left to sort out their $15 million sitting on LTIR.
Thank you for reading! The season enters the final stretch and each buying team looks poised to try and make a run for the Cup. Who do you think were the winners or losers of the trade deadline?
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